artist

Dylan’s Back Pages

10/11/2007
Special To The Jewish Week

In the cultural history of the second half of the 20th century, few figures — and no Jews — are more influential or pivotal than Bob Dylan.

No other artist bestrides so many trends and streams of Americana; Dylan merges folk, blues, gospel, country, rock and modernist poetry (with strong ties to the Symbolists and Surrealists). And in his relentless shape-shifting and self-reinvention he is an archetype for the age of mass communications.

The Women’s Section

11/28/2007
Jewish Week Book Critic

Enter the room that houses Miriam Stern’s installation piece “Ezrat Nashim” and you’ll be struck by the clusters of women’s figures, 10 in all, standing together in a corner, like oversized paper dolls covered in earth-tone designs.

The Persian Queens

03/08/2007
Jewish Week Book Critic

Separated by a thousand years, Queen Esther and Scheherazade were both the second wives of betrayed and humiliated kings. Both were selected by these kings from a harem, after a thousand women came before them. And both women’s lives were hanging by a thread, yet they chose to stand up for themselves and others and save lives.

The Matchup: The Intermarriage Artist

11/28/2007
Special To The Jewish Week

I recently came back from a West Coast tour of sorts, which included participation in an L.A.-based conference for Jewish leaders in their 20s and 30s. The Professional Leaders Project (PLP) called participants “talent,” in perhaps an intentional evocation of “the industry.” But our talents were celebrated and cultivated in a very un-Hollywood-like way: through intensive peer leadership, networking and professional mentoring. No casting couch required.

Serving Up Food With Attitude

04/03/2009

He may be one of the last of a famous breed, but Cliff Fyman, who has worked at Sardi’s for almost two decades, is that beloved icon of New York culture: the Jewish waiter.

A published poet and an accomplished visual artist, Fyman says that a blue-collar job is one that enables him “not to take my job home with me.” He tried bartending, but found that he had to talk too much with the customers and consequently had “no more words left for poetry.”

Amos Gitai, The Movie

Israel’s celebrated filmmaker uses the material of his own life to craft the dazzling yet infuriating ‘Carmel.’

01/06/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

There is a strain of narrative cinema that aspires to the conditions of lyric poetry. Densely allusive, rhythmically complex, frequently abstract and personal to the point of opacity, it can range from the downright magical (think Andrei Tarkovsky at his best) to the thunderously ponderous. Either way, it is not a type of filmmaking one readily associates with Amos Gitai.

For all of his other narrative complexities, Israel’s best-known filmmaker is a hardheaded realist whose background in architecture has made him a master of the purpose-built film, a film that has something very specific to say and to do, says it and does it, then waits for your response. His is a materialist cinema, in the philosophical sense, rooted in the Israeli reality.

Karen Mor, who plays Gitai’s mother as a young woman. The boy plays Gitai himself as a child. Courtesy Kino International, NY

David Stern: The American Years

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008 There’s a very worthwhile exhibit, “David Stern: The American Years (1995-2008),” at the Yeshiva University Museum, placing by a spotlight on an artist whose own story is as compelling as his talent. Check out Joel Silverstein’s exhibition review at ArtCritical.com.  

Serving Up Food With Attitude

The wisecracking and domineering waiter holds a mythical place in the history of American Jewish restaurants.

04/03/2009
He may be one of the last of a famous breed, but Cliff Fyman, who has worked at Sardi’s for almost two decades, is that beloved icon of New York culture: the Jewish waiter. A published poet and an accomplished visual artist, Fyman says that a blue-collar job is one that enables him “not to take my job home with me.” He tried bartending, but found that he had to talk too much with the customers and consequently had “no more words left for poetry.”

Portrait Of The Artist As An Older Man

Jewish Week Book Critic
12/08/2009
I would love William D. Kaufman’s stories even if he weren’t 95 and this wasn’t his first book.
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